In every city across the country scores of small businesses are encouraged to seek help at small business development centers, with SCORE counselors and attend small business workshops put on by their local economic development office, but where is the help? Routinely I’ve heard that the advice given was generic and general and really didn’t help them run their business once they’ve started it. Here’s the help you’ve been asking for.
Know your costs
The golden rule in business is to have more coming in than going out and while this seems like common sense, most business owners don’t know how much they are spending month to month. To start with you should know how much it costs you to make a sale, how much it costs you to have employees, to develop business and to provide services after your product or service is sold.
The price is right
The most common mistake small businesses make is in pricing. If you go too low your profit margins don’t allow for a profit and it’s harder to raise the price as you grow. If you price too high you can price yourself right out of the market. Do your research and benchmark the industry, where are your competitors? What do they have that you don’t?
You have to mingle
In business success is all about relationships, but when you run a small business it’s yet another thing you have to do. But the truth is you absolutely have to. If you have the mentality that you are only going to talk to someone long enough to make a sale, your business will not have a sustainable model. The ideal customers especially for small businesses are returning customers, and that means you have to build relationships. That means that you might have to talk to people that aren’t buying from you right now, but if you do it right you have a long lasting relationship that will grow as you business grows.
Being a business owner is not for the faint of heart, but there are things that you can do to help your business succeed. So now that you have the secrets, are you ready to show up to the game?